MAC/VAL is opened every day of the week, except on mondays:
tuesday to friday, 10 h to 18 h
week-ends and holidays, 12 h to 19 h.

Closed on january 1st, may 1st and december 25th.

phone: 01 43 91 64 20
fax: 01 79 86 16 57

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Place de la Libération
94400 Vitry-sur-Seine


Michel de Broin


Since the mid-1990s, through sculpture,
installation, video and performance, Michel
de Broin has been exploring the control
of symbolic and social space, and the
construction of reality through mastery of
language. The artist invents systems based
on ordinary objects, albeit ones with
a marked social, emotional and erotic
content, involving forces that attract,
repel and put up with each other.

The title Black Whole Conference
encompasses, through homophony, the black
hole as scientific phenomenon and the idea
of collective discussion. Defined as an
absence of matter, the black hole is part
of a consensual representation of the
world. Illustrated here by a conversation
that runs on empty, it raises the issue
of the authority of discourse.
The installation consists of a group of
chairs fixed one to the next by the legs
so as to form a sphere. Each part of this
utopian architecture guarantees and shares
with all the others the stability of the
whole. In a chivalrous ideal, the form of
this assembly, like that of king Arthur’s
Knights of the Round Table, avoids any kind
of precedence, guaranteeing perfect
equality between its members.

Paradoxically, and like an avowal of
failure to reach consensus, it is
physically impossible to sit at this
fictitious assembly which, ready to pounce,
seems to prefer autarky.
Through the sphere, the artist alludes to
the history and memory of Western thinking,
the globe as image or object to represent
the world (celestial, then terrestrial),
forcing adhesion and obliging people to
seek out their position in relation to the
central point. The spectator’s outer place
when looking at Michel de Broin’s work
calls to mind the situation of the person
tempted to prefer a make-believe
spectator’s life to the experience of

As if to bring the loop full circle, the
choice of the chair model used for this
sculpture helps the artist to link
2,000-year-old mathematical globalisation
with present-day terrestrial and economic
globalisation. It is an ersatz of the
Polyprop chair created by the British
designer Robin Day in 1962. With more than
14,000,000 units produced, this key modern
design has become a standard item, a
worldwide sign of the professional
environment and the community, a reminder
of a modernist utopia whose intent was to
make the beautiful a consensus; this chair
is nowadays one emblem among others of a
global economy.